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Old 01-28-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
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Figured I'd better do this before everyone founds out how good I am at "stealing" threads!

Well, we ran across this real nice Excel at the recent Washington RV Expo and here we are. We'd hoped to close on the trailer today, but a little snow & ice mixed with Donna's recent knee surgery (orthoscopic) and it seemed to be pushing it a little bit. So we're back trying to decide on a new date and driving our dealer nuts. However, Donna's going stir crazy while recovering, and she wants her stuff in her new kitchen!

The vehicle and trailer in our signature is a result of a conversation we had in 1985 when a financial planner asked us what we wanted to do when we retired. I remember saying something about a motorhome and seeing the country. By 1998 that dream was an American Dream motor coach with a corvette on a trailer behind it. Motor coach brands changed. The we found we liked the room in 5th wheels better and in the span of the last eight weeks, got the truck and trailer in our signature. We're still working and have a house to put on the market next year. Retirement planned for sometime in 2010 after the house sells. Retirement could be sooner, could be later, I could be fired...

Frankly, we had planned to purchase a truck and trailer now. Unfortunately, we had a different F450 in mind and a different brand of 5th wheel. Due to family issues and not keeping up with the Ford forums, we missed the 2009 Job 1 order deadline, but found a truck reasonably close to what we wanted over Thanksgiving. A couple from our church lost their truck in a fire and approached us about buying our old truck. We decided to sell our old truck to them and bought the F450 on the lot.

We were pretty certain that the brand of 5th wheel we were looking at would cease production, but held out hope. We had planned to order our new 5th wheel this week from them, but it wasn't to be. We decided that while we'd look funny, we'd be OK pulling our 27ft travel trailer behind our F450 while we started checking out other 5th wheel brands.

Over the last couple of years, several people had suggested we consider an Excel and we planned to check them out when the weather got warmer later this spring. Then came the Washington RV Expo. When Donna set in the 36GKE for over an hour and wouldn't get out so others could tour it, I knew we had a floor plan picked out. When we found out that this show trailer had that sweet spot of options we wanted and floor plan, it became a question of buy it or order another one. Our dealer helped us make that decision. Amazing how easy that is when you have a capable tow vehicle sitting in the parking lot.

So, like some others on this forum, I'm going to need a lot of help. I haven't completed my homework for this brand or this specific trailer. I'm reading a lot of the old posts for now. I've downloaded an owner's manual from the Excel website. Once I'm done with reading all that, expect tons of questions!!

See ya!
David
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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Dave,

Again Welcome! Thanks for the history of your hunt for the rig. We are here for ya. Donna and I have been FTing for almost 4 years and love it! We have learned a whole lot about this lifestyle and are willing to share. As a retired automotive service engineer I tend to be a little over analytical, so apologize up front!

Your set up make me feel like I'm waaaay behind with my "old" rig. We do take good care of the rig....many folks in parks we pull in think it's new!

My personal email address is in my profile, so if you ever want to take it offline shoot me an email! Later, rockin'
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Figured I'd better do this before everyone founds out how good I am at "stealing" threads!
My Goodness - I think once you have read this forum you will see that this is either a prerequisite or "learn as you go" trait of most Excel members! I have been reading your posts all day today via email and knew you were in good hands - but I will forewarn you- you have a very short "grace period" before you start getting picked on.

We are glad to have you here with us. Everyone here will be very willing to help you and make fun of you at the same time...and it is all done in a good-natured manner.
Beware of Rockin' he is the self-anointed (and almost has everyone else convinced )"Sir-Know-It-All!Sorry Tom!

Please feel free to ask any questions you have regarding your Excel...and we hope that you will share if you find something that works great for you that you have not seen here.

Welcome to iRV2 & The Excel forums but most of all- Congrats on your new Excel!!

MM
PS..please check your PMs soon..



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Old 01-28-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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Hi Dave,

I expect you will love your new rig! We retired and bought a new Excel and F450 last year, and have very much enjoyed both. We have been completely amazed this winter as we traveled last winter with our 6 year old SOB and a F350. We probably used more propane last winter in the first 3 weeks on the road than we have used all this winter so far (that may be a slight exaggeration-but not much)

In that fifth, once the furnace kicked on, it seemed to run almost non-stop. In this Excel, you can't believe the difference. It actually holds the heat!

As for the truck-even though our SOB was a 36 ft it was significantly lighter than this new fifth. But the 350 was working pretty hard occasionally when we were in hills and mountains. The 450, on the other hand, just walks along most of the time as if there is nothing back there. We did go with the lowest gear ratio, the 4.88, but I doubt there is much noticable difference pulling these units between the 4.30.

My only dissatisfaction is with the Navigation unit. I sold my $250 Tom Tom to a buddy for $50. It was head and shoulders above the built in unit. I am very happy with the entertainment pkg that is built into it--so I will probably end up just getting another portable GPS-and forget using the ford system.

Have fun--and maybe we will meet up on the road somewhere.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:22 AM   #5
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David,
We all are glad you have joined the family and we all think you made a great decision! If you enjoy seeing the country in nice weather half as much as my wife and I do, you have just embarked on the most wondeful adventure of your life.
There is plenty of help on this forum to get you through the routine issues but the best news for you is that Peterson Industries will get you through any major issues.

I'm not sure what MM was trying to say in her post above...... ("but I will forewarn you- you have a very short "grace period" before you start getting picked on.").....because we never pick on anyone. Sometimes Mistress Mandy hallucinates late at night and we have to put the pieces back together for her in the morning.

Welcome Brother!
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:39 AM   #6
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David & Donna,
Congratulations! You are well equiped to begin a new and great life experience, Full Time RV'ing in an Excel. We absolutely love it.

You'll find this forum to be a great place to find all kinds of info about everything you ever wanted to know. Just ask Tom, SKIA, and he'll fill you on on the "facts". He'll never lead you astray.

Safe travels and keep us posted on your where abouts on the "sticky" at the top of the forum. Who knows when & where we'll meet down the road.

Safe travels and have fun every day.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:14 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone! Questions coming soon! David
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:29 PM   #8
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Dave & Donna

Congratulations on your new rig. I see you are from VA. Check out the Excel Club of the Mid Atlantic. It is a great group of folks. The rallies are a fun time.

http://www.excelclubmidatlantic.com/


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Old 01-30-2009, 05:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockintom:

Your set up make me feel like I'm waaaay behind with my "old" rig. We do take good care of the rig....many folks in parks we pull in think it's new!
I don't think you're way behind! How often are you waxing your unit? Thanks!!! David
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by clspds:
Dave & Donna

Congratulations on your new rig. I see you are from VA. Check out the Excel Club of the Mid Atlantic. It is a great group of folks. The rallies are a fun time.

http://www.excelclubmidatlantic.com/


Paul
Will do! Our dealer keeps talking about an uncoming event, but Im unsure of the dates. We've already planned a trip to Yellowstone this year, so we're unsure what we can fit in at the moment We do plan to get to one at some point, though. Thanks!!! David
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigmichael:
My only dissatisfaction is with the Navigation unit. I sold my $250 Tom Tom to a buddy for $50. It was head and shoulders above the built in unit. I am very happy with the entertainment pkg that is built into it--so I will probably end up just getting another portable GPS-and forget using the ford system.
Good info! We're new to the nav/gps so we don't know any better and think ours is fine. Finally got Synch worked out so we can use our IPODs. We're still learning the entertainment system in the truck, though! David
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:17 AM   #12
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I wax my rig between 3-4 times a year. I do wax the front cap about every 2 months. To wax the whole rig usually takes me about 24-25 hrs. (anal wax job). I use a commercial product called Auto Magic wash and wax No. 56 to wash the rig. Great professional product that is way too expense, but works very well. Have used lots of different products to wax, but usually use Protect-All from the RV section of the auto dept. at Wal-Mart. $8.82 a bottle and it takes about 2 bottles to do it.

Virg (MakinSmoke) uses a dry wash product that he swears by, and I would try it....if I would remember to order it! Dri-Guard or something like that. HTH rockin'/SKIA
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockintom:
Virg (MakinSmoke) uses a dry wash product that he swears by, and I would try it....if I would remember to order it! Dri-Guard or something like that. HTH rockin'/SKIA
Probably Dri Wash 'n Guard. I use it as well, although (since our 5ver spends a lot of time in covered storage - weekend warriors, you know) I'm overdue for an application. If someone would like to drop by, you can do an application on my trusty ole 5ver and see how you like it! I'll even supply the scaffold, rags and a power buffer!

Rusty
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:45 AM   #14
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Rusty,

We are gettin' close...you are testing me...are libations involved? What a reputation I'm getting!
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